Volunteers are being recruited to help look through thousands of images of the moon’s surface to look for any sign that aliens might have been there.
Physicists Paul Davies and Robert Wagner have proposed a search for alien evidence on the surface of the moon by studying in detail thousands of photographs taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. “If it costs little to scan data for signs of intelligent manipulation, little is lost in doing so, even though the probability of detecting alien technology at work may be exceedingly low,” they said.
Are Aliens On The Moon? Scientists Want YOU To Join The Search
American scientists want to enlist online volunteers to identify signs of alien life in moon images collected by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).
Physicists Paul Davies and Robert Wagner of Arizona State University believe there may be signs of extra terrestrial life in the form of messages, scientific instruments, waste or evidence of mining that could be spotted by human telescopes and orbiting spacecraft.
In their paper published online in the journal Acta Astronautica, the pair wrote: “Although there is only a tiny probability that alien technology would have left traces on the moon in the form of an artefact or surface modification of lunar features, this location has the virtue of being close, and of preserving traces for an immense duration.
“If it costs little to scan data for signs of intelligent manipulation, little is lost in doing so, even though the probability of detecting alien technology at work may be exceedingly low.”
The paper adds: “Alien civilizations may have sent probes to our region of the galaxy. Any mission to the solar system would probably have occurred a very long time ago.
“The lunar environment could preserve artefacts for millions of years.”
The LRO has been taking pictures of the moon’s surface since 2009, with more than 340,000 images collected so far.
According to Davies and Wagner, it would be impossible for one team to examine the ever-growing number of images, hence their suggestion to involve amateur enthusiasts in what they claim would make “an excellent educational project”.
They also suggest building computer software that could recognise irregularities on the moon’s surface.
The proposals would complement other scientific hunts for alien life, including the Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), research which uses data from radiotelescopes.
Article Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/12/26/aliens-moon-acta-astronautica-seti-nasa-_n_1170217.html
PS1 The introduction to “Searching for alien artifacts on the moon”
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has a low probability of success, but it would have a high impact if successful. Therefore it makes sense to widen the search as much as possible within the confines of the modest budget and limited resources currently available. To date, SETI has been dominated by the paradigm of seeking deliberately beamed radio messages.
However, indirect evidence for extraterrestrial intelligence could come from any incontrovertible signatures of non-human technology. Existing searchable databases from astronomy, biology, earth and planetary sciences all offer low-cost opportunities to seek a footprint of extraterrestrial technology. In this paper we take as a case study one particular new and rapidly-expanding database: the photographic mapping of the Moon’s surface by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to 0.5 m resolution. Although there is only a tiny probability that alien technology would have left traces on the moon in the form of an artifact or surface modification of lunar features, this location has the virtue of being close, and of preserving traces for an immense duration.
Systematic scrutiny of the LRO photographic images is being routinely conducted anyway for planetary science purposes, and this program could readily be expanded and outsourced at little extra cost to accommodate SETI goals, after the fashion of the SETI@home and Galaxy Zoo projects.
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